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To: Warden Jim Wynn at the Reception Diagnostic Center, Indiana Department of Corrections

Justice for Sylvester "Jahsyl" Smith

In June, we delivered the petition, and the attorney was finally allowed to visit with Jahsyl – it was a fantastic day. Together, each and everyone of us made this happen and WE MADE HISTORY! Jahsyl was happy and "relieved" to read the petition and to see for himself everyone's support. It lifted his spirits.

Thank you for helping to make it happen,
Venus

Justice for Sylvester "Jahsyl" Smith

Mr. Wynn, give family members, clergy, and legal counsel immediate access to Sylvester "Jahsyl" Smith, and knowledge of his health and legal status.

Why is this important?

62 year old Vietnam Veteran and community activist Sylvester "Jahsyl" Smith has been a Rastafarian for nearly 40 years. After serving his country in the Vietnam War, he started religiously growing his hair and this year his dreadlocks were near his ankles. Shockingly and traumatically, in May, authorities at the Indiana Department of Corrections cut off Jahsyl's dreadlocks against his will. Knowing Jahsyl is a Rastafarian, authorities violated his First Amendment Right to Freedom of Religion.
For many Rastafarians "shall no razor come upon his head...he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow." (Numbers 6:5). Now, Jahsyl is on a hunger strike for the cutting of his dreadlocks, but authorities in Indiana will not inform the family of his health status, and he is not allowed visitors.
Jahsyl is a 62 year old man who went to college, served his country and his community. He was charged with criminal recklessness, but his crime was protecting his teen daughter and self on his property. What would justify authorities cutting his dreadlocks and degrading him, his religion, and his culture?
After this traumatic experience and violation of his First Amendment rights, Jahsyl needs access to his family, clergy, and attorney. Please sign the petition to call on Warden Jim Wynn to give us peace and justice for Jahsyl.

Indiana

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Updates

2016-08-22 16:57:45 -0400

Petition is successful with 734 signatures

2013-07-29 12:04:03 -0400

Petition is successful with 696 signatures

2013-07-10 14:08:02 -0400

Petition is successful with 650 signatures

2013-07-09 17:52:05 -0400

After a successful petition, we got the Indiana Department of Corrections to grant Jahsyl access to his attorney.

But now, our biggest concern is Jahsyl's mental and physical health. Jahsyl went on a hunger strike after his dreadlocks were cut against his will and needed medical treatment from heat exhaustion in June. Our goal now, is to keep him alive and strong for the journey ahead.

*Please use the form below to participate in this "Letter Writing Campaign" to help lift Jahsyl spiritually and mentally.* Our family, legal counsel, and faith community appreciates your support.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHh5WHdtendTZklWMWlBS0o4WFYxUWc6MA#gid=0

Graciously,
Venus

2013-06-30 15:31:56 -0400

500 signatures reached

2013-06-21 08:22:26 -0400

Monday, June 17th, we delivered the petition, and the attorney was finally allowed to visit with Jahsyl – it was a fantastic day. Together, each and everyone of us made this happen and WE MADE HISTORY!

We sent the message that we will not stand for anyone's RIGHTS as a citizen and human being to be violated.

Jahsyl is in good health. Even more, he was happy and "relieved" to read the petition and to see for himself everyone's support. It lifted his spirits.

Thank you for helping to make it happen,
Venus